Landscape drainage issues can cause costly problems fast. Repairing foundation damage due to poor drainage can range anywhere from $500 to $13,000, according to Home Advisor. Swampy, poorly graded earth is the kiss of death for lawns, shrubs and plants, and a major landscape drainage problem or foundation damage can reduce a building’s value by 10–15%, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Poor landscape drainage isn’t just financially costly, it can be bad for your health. Runoff from roofs can enter homes and businesses through foundational cracks or leaks, where it can warp floorboards and turn finished rooms into mildewed disasters that can attract pests and irritate allergies. Drainage problems can also create standing water outside, which attracts mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, Zika virus, and heartworms.
Without appropriate landscape drainage, a yard can swiftly turn into a pond. Most homes and businesses have gutter downspouts that go straight to the ground, where all the water rolling off the roof dumps out in one place and collects. This is the most common drainage problem. Luckily, it’s also the easiest to fix, by simply extending downspouts away from the building. The extensions should carry rainwater at least 10’ away from the structure.
Solve Landscape Drainage Issues With A French Drain
A French drain is a trench filled with gravel around a slotted pipe. French drains are ideal for lawns and landscapes, patios and driveways, retaining walls, and around foundations.
French drains direct groundwater or surface water away from an area toward the lowest point in the landscape. The water is then collected in the perforated pipe at the base of the drain, and directed toward a more suitable area. French drains collect water over the entire length of the drain instead of one particular spot like surface drains.
When To Install A French Drain
Look for water pooling after rain, especially if it sits for hours or days. Some of the most common drainage problems are:
- Flooding in a yard
- Damage to an outdoor patio
- Runoff from a neighboring property
- Water near driveways, walkways and planter areas